Building your technician tool supply

Posted by: Steve McCarson

Building your technician tool supply - 04/29/12 12:11 PM

Hi,
I just started an apprenticeship with a piano shop in my area. I have one small padded case that holds my Sanderson Accutuner and 3 larger aluminum cases that I bought. http://www.harborfreight.com/17-1-2-half...case-36871.html One for stringing, one for regulating, and one that serves as my tuning case. Ive not any tools for the stringing or the regulating case yet. For repair I was going to buy a strong canvas tool bag http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-...p;storeId=10051 similar to this for a repair bag to put all of my repair items and equipment in. Is this too many cases to carry around in the car? How do most of you do it? Also as a beginner all of these necessary tools and equipment seem overwhelming to purchase and I was wondering if anyone can give me some pointers as to what to purchase as a beginner and what is actually required to get started as far as tool and parts inventory that a technician carries with them on a daily basis?

Thanks,
Steve
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: Building your technician tool supply - 04/29/12 03:06 PM

Hi Steve,

Good luck in pursuit of your new profession!

This thread might cover some of the type of information you seek regarding tool cases.

As for what tools to get, it's a huge initial investment. You really want to strive for having a comprehensive set, since you really never know what you'll encounter with each piano, especially at first.

One suggestion I have would be to avoid piano manufacturer-specific(like a "Steinendorfer capstan wrench", as a made-up example) tools at first. In my experience, I have almost never needed to use them. Others here may have different opinions(and I'm fairly certain the Sun will set in the west today). laugh

I hope that helps.
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: Building your technician tool supply - 04/29/12 03:07 PM

I just looked at the Husky bag you're thinking of, and it looks like the one I got, but on wheels. I'm perfectly happy with mine so far.
Posted by: pianotune2

Re: Building your technician tool supply - 04/29/12 06:57 PM

I use a Husky bag for my main bag, it holds all tuning, regulation tools as well as pin block jack, punchings, misc. felt, receipt books, business cards, credit card swiper and stuff for basic repairs. Along with that bag I have a case that holds all stringing equipment, another that holds cleaning, finish repair items. All this fits neatly in my trunk and I can still get a grand action in it.
Posted by: Steve McCarson

Re: Building your technician tool supply - 04/30/12 07:29 AM

What about tools and repair parts?
Posted by: Thomson Lawrie

Re: Building your technician tool supply - 04/30/12 09:54 AM

I'd start off with a combination handle and a few tools to fit it like a let off tool, wire benders and hammer shank drill. I get a combination capstan tool with a universal capstan wrench on one side and dowel regulator on the other (you might need to file the pointed end to make it thin enough to work well). An upright damper regulation tool (the flat kind, forget about the one that fits the combination handle). A good pair of wire cutters (I've had the same ones for 33 years). Center pin cutters and a few file type reamers. As for parts, the brass repair plates and repair clips, center pins (the pin holder with pins is the way to start), hammer shanks and a selection of piano wire would be a good start. This will all cost more money than you think it should. I remember when I started out getting new tools from the supplier and thinking "is that all you get for that kind of money?" but don't worry you'll still have most of these tools when you decide to retire.